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Tokyo Paralympics: Singapore's Toh Wei Soong breaks national record, finishes 7th in men's 50m freestyle S7 final

Tokyo Paralympics: Singapore's Toh Wei Soong breaks national record, finishes 7th in men's 50m freestyle S7 final

Singaporean swimmer Toh Wei Soong (top) powered home in a time of 28.65 seconds to finish seventh in the men's 50m freestyle S7 final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Aug 31, 2021, setting a new national record in the process. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore Disability Sports Council, Sport Singapore)

SINGAPORE: Singapore swimmer Toh Wei Soong finished seventh in the men's 50m freestyle S7 final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday (Aug 31), setting a new national record in the process.

Toh powered home in a time of 28.65 seconds, improving on his qualifying time of 29.01 seconds, which had equalled the previous national record.

Andrii Trusov of Ukraine took the gold with a time of 27.43 seconds ahead of Colombia's Carlos Daniel Serrano Zarate in 27.84 seconds. Another Ukrainian, Yevhenii Bohodaiko, claimed the bronze in 27.99 seconds.

Toh, who was seen smiling at the end of the race, expressed his happiness for familiar rival Serrano Zarate, and in his own performance.

"I was smiling because of the swimmer next to me, Carlos. Seeing the excitement in his face when he won the silver, it would be very difficult not to share that moment with him, having raced him for many years now," he said.

"Of course, I was also happy that I was able to smash through the 29-second barrier at this Paralympic Games."

Toh qualified for the final after finishing fifth in his heat at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre earlier on Tuesday. 

His qualifying time was a personal best, and equalled a national record, said Team Singapore in a Facebook post. Toh, who is competing at the Paralympics for the first time, placed eighth overall in the heats.

This is Toh's second final in three days. On Sunday, he also finished seventh in the men's 400m freestyle S7 final. 

The 22-year-old, a multiple Asian Para Games gold medallist, is representing Singapore in three events at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Toh will swim in his third and final event at the Games, the 50m butterfly S7, on Friday.

"I’m in a very good head space now and the plan is just to continue maintaining this good feeling, this confidence, going into the race on Friday," he said.

"There are targets and expectations I have for myself, but when it really comes down to it, focusing too hard on those expectations is not what’s going to get you the results."

Toh said that he has enjoyed his campaign so far.

“To be able to swim in Tokyo and to be able to be a part of this special Paralympics experience ... It’s been a great couple of days and I’m very happy with the experience - being able to train in a world-class pool, to compete in a world-class facility and to share these moments with so many talented athletes who I have had the privilege of competing against for years," he said.

Catch daily highlights and coverage of Team Singapore at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, LIVE on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/paralympics2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Paralympic Network.

Source: CNA/ad(ac)

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